From George Washington to Donald Trump, US presidents have taken the oath of office with their hand on a Bible.
President Trump and former President Barack Obama both used one of Abraham Lincoln’s Bibles during their inaugurations.
Now another Bible belonging to Lincoln has been unveiled to the public for the first time in 150 years.
According to the New York Times, the Bible, one of six owned by President Abraham Lincoln, has been kept hidden from scholars and the public since the president acquired it in 1864, one year before his assassination.
Lincoln reportedly received the Bible as a gift during a fundraiser in Philadelphia by the hospital that treated soldiers who were wounded during the Civil War.
Engraved on the cover are the words, “to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States,” from “the Ladies of the Citizens Volunteer Hospital of Philadelphia.
After the president’s death, his widow, Mary Todd Lincoln, reportedly gave the Bible to Rev. Noyes Miner, a family friend, Baptist minister, and neighbor.
The Bible stayed with the Miner family until recently when they decided to donate it to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Museum.
According to Alan Lowe, executive director of the Lincoln museum, the Bible reveals a lot about Lincoln’s views on faith and religion.
“Their evolution over time is a fascinating one, that tells us much about our 16th president – how he viewed himself, the world around him and the future of our nation,” Lowe said.
There were claims that the president at some point in his life had been an atheist. CBN once reported that, as a young man, Lincoln openly questioned the truth of Scripture, according to Marvin Olasky’s book, The American Leadership Tradition. Even after he became president, Olasky writes, Lincoln’s “god in 1861 and 1862 was the Union,” not Jehovah.
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